Home » The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust: An Icon of Style

The Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust: An Icon of Style

Distinguished by its elegance and refinement, the Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust is Rolex’s classic feminine watch par excellence – one of the most varied lines in the Oyster Perpetual collection.


The year 1957 saw the birth of icon, often described as “a classic designed for a lady”, an expression of excellence. Audrey Hepburn was captivating Hollywood, Sylvia Earle obtained her Master of Science, Françoise Sagan was shaking up the literary landscape, Pat Smythe reigned supreme in equestrian sport, and fashion designer Adèle Simpson had New York clamouring for her latest creations. Women were changing.

No less ladylike than their mothers, they were enjoying new, active lifestyles. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, understood this; the modern woman wanted to manage her time to control her destiny. She needed as much precision as men. And so was born Rolex’s classic women’s watch: the Lady-Datejust.

It is a watch of smaller proportions built on unwavering standards of excellence – a watch for women that was every bit as reliable as a man’s. With this innovation, the brand had broken new technical ground in terms of the case size, while also obtaining COSC chronometric certification for this small model.

Garbiñe Muguruza, a force in women’s tennis, has been a Rolex Testimonee since 2016 (© Rolex/Gianni Ciaccia)

Indeed, the Lady-Datejust was inspired by audacity. It addressed not only a technical challenge but a cultural one, too: this watch would serve to further women’s independence. An uncompromising creation, combining elegance and accuracy on the wrist of a modern, graceful, and accomplished woman – a symbol of assertiveness expressed in exquisitely feminine form.

Incorporating several decades of watchmaking innovations, the Lady-Datejust has established itself as the ultimate classic women’s watch: a piece of technical prowess made for women who believe in themselves. It is a timepiece that’s a blend of elegance and precision, grace and resistance, beauty, and technical performance.

Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust in Everose Rolesor, bezel set with 46 brilliant-cut diamonds, chocolate dial set with 10 diamonds (© Rolex/Ulysse Fréchelin)

This classic Rolex feminine watch concentrates all the attributes of the Datejust, the brand’s emblematic watch for men that has been a byword for style and technical performance ever since its launch in 1945. The women’s version, however, continues the elegance of the Datejust in a small 28mm size, particularly suited to a slender wrist.

Over the years, the Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust have been adopted by women whose steadfast determination has led them to remarkable achievements, gracing the wrists of the marine biologist Sylvia Earle, the golf champion Annika Sörenstam, and the singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. As pioneers in each of their fields, they portray a new image of femininity: engaged, modern and in permanent pursuit of excellence

Inspired by their legacy, the next generation is bringing renewed vigour to disciplines across the spectrum. Whether it be the prodigious pianist Yuja Wang, the tennis champion Garbiñe Muguruza, the biologist Emma Camp working to protect coral reefs, or the sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar, these women are the new faces of contemporary femininity.

Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust in yellow Rolesor, fluted bezel, silver dial set with 10 diamonds (© Rolex/Ulysse Fréchelin)


The Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust oozes classic and timeless elegance, and comes with a 28mm Oyster case, waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet). At its heart beats a COSC-certified, self-winding mechanical movement that comes with superlative Chronometer certification, specific to Rolex. Other key features include high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, a Syloxi hairspring in silicon, and instantaneous date through a Cyclops lens. This iconic ladies timepiece has a power reserve of 55 hours, comes with a five-year international guarantee, and is available in many variants that include a large selection of dials, bezels and bracelets.


The Lady-Datejust comes in a wealth of versions, including those decorated with diamonds. The range of materials of the Lady-Datejust is equalled only by the variety of bracelets and subtle dials that enhance its style. Depending on the version, it also comes with the option of a domed, fluted or diamond-set bezel.


The Lady-Datejust’s Oyster case, 28mm in diameter and guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet), is a paragon of robustness and elegance. The middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel, a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy, or from 18-carat gold. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only certified Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The Twinlock winding crown, fitted with a double waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. The crystal, with a Cyclops lens at 3 o’clock for easy reading of the date, is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the watch’s movement.

Perpetual calibre 2236 (© Rolex)


The Lady-Datejust is equipped with calibre 2236, a self-winding mechanical movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex. A consummate demonstration of technology, this movement carries a number of patents. It offers outstanding performance in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience, and reliability.

The oscillator of calibre 2236 has a balance wheel with variable inertia regulated extremely precisely via gold Microstella nuts. It is held firmly in place by a heightadjustable traversing bridge enabling very stable positioning to increase shock resistance. The oscillator is also fitted on high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, designed and patented by Rolex.

Calibre 2236 is furthermore fitted with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor, which ensures continuous winding of the mainspring by harnessing the movements of the wrist to provide constant energy. It offers a power reserve of approximately 55 hours.

The movement of the Lady-Datejust – which will only ever be seen only by certified Rolex watchmakers – is beautifully finished and decorated all the same, in keeping with the brand’s uncompromising quality standards.


Calibre 2236 incorporates a Syloxi hairspring in silicon, which is patented and manufactured by Rolex. Insensitive to magnetic fields, the Syloxi hairspring provides great stability in the face of temperature variations and remains up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The Syloxi hairspring found in calibre 2236 has a geometry that guarantees the regularity of the movement in any position. It also includes a paramagnetic nickel-phosphorus escape wheel.

Multiple dial variations are possible on the Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust to reflect the personality of its wearer (© Rolex/Alain Costa)


The quintessentially classic watch, known for its timeless and inimitable style, the Lady-Datejust has, over time, unveiled a variety of bezels and dials that reflect as much the personality of its wearer as the model’s ability to renew its own elegance in fine detail. It beckons its owner to shape its own future.

Multiple dial variations are possible on the Lady-Datejust. They are available in a wealth of materials, colours, motifs and markers – indices, Roman or Arab numerals – with numerous gem-setting options for the hour markers or the dial itself. Among the iconic champagne-colour, silver, white, pink and diamond-set dials, the dial in mother-of-pearl stands out for its singularity.

Domed, fluted or gem-set, the bezel of the Lady-Datejust is available in three different designs, each conferring its own distinctive aesthetic.


Mother-of-pearl is by its nature full of mystery and surprises. Depending on its origin, it can be pink, white, black, or yellow. It differs in colour, intensity and structure according to the part of the shell from which it is extracted. At Rolex, mother-of-pearl is never artificially coloured. Instead, particular know-how and skills are devoted to simply highlighting its natural beauty and preserving the original hues. As all mother-of-pearl dials are unique pieces, an identical dial will never be found on another wrist.


The Lady-Datejust is available in several metal alloys: Oystersteel, 18-carat yellow, white or Everose gold, and in a Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and yellow, white or Everose gold). Whether yellow, white or Everose, the 18-carat gold of the Lady-Datejust shines with a special radiance. Rolex has its own foundry and develops its gold alloys from the purest raw materials. From casting to the shaping and polishing of the gold, everything is carried out in the Rolex workshops with meticulous care to ensure impeccable quality. Everose gold, an exclusive 18-carat pink gold alloy developed and patented by Rolex, owes its unique hue to its exclusive composition.

Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust’s Jubilee and President bracelets are fitted with a concealed Crownclasp (© Rolex/Audoin Desforges)


In 2021, Rolex introduced a new sparkling version of its Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust. This entirely gem-set version in 18-carat yellow gold is draped in glittering diamonds. The case is entirely set with 158 brilliant-cut diamonds on the case sides and lugs, while the bezel features 44 brilliant-cut diamonds. This new Lady-Datejust is fitted on a President bracelet set with 596 brilliantcut diamonds. Its dial is pavéd with 291 brilliant-cut diamonds.

Rolex uses only the highest quality gemstones of natural origin, which the brand itself verifies. Whether it be diamonds, rubies, sapphires or emeralds, the stones must always be the finest. This includes the cut of the stone in particular, as well as its clarity, colour and exact dimensions. Rolex’s know-how comes into play from the initial quality control of the gemstones, for example ensuring perfectly uniform hues when sorting the stones by colour, to the gem-setting process itself.

The rigorous verification protocol that is applied when gemstones are received relies as much on human expertise as on state-of-the-art equipment. During qualitative analysis, diamonds and coloured gemstones are subject to the same selection criteria, following the standards set out by the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO). The way a stone is cut – the symmetry and proportions of the facets – and how it is polished determine the way in which light penetrates it and is reflected off the underside, the area known as the pavilion.

On a diamond, a perfect cut intensifies the ‘fire’ in the stone – the coloured flashes of light seen on the surface when it is exposed to light (its brilliance) – the way in which it reflects white light, and its scintillation – the play of contrast between the light and dark areas within the stone. Clarity relates to the absence of flaws. As each gemstone is natural, it is not unusual for inclusions to be present. For diamonds, Rolex selects only the purest, with no visible inclusions when examined under magnification – those equivalent to IF (Internally Flawless) on the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) scale.

The final criterion, colour, is always evaluated by the naked eye, as it requires the gemmologist’s seasoned aesthetic judgement. To complete the assessment, the stones are compared against certified master stones. Rolex uses only the most colourless diamonds; they must be classed ‘exceptional white +’, ‘exceptional white’, ‘rare white +’ or ‘rare white’ – equivalent to GIA colour ranges D to G – the highest grades on the diamond colour scale. With coloured gemstones – rubies, sapphires and emeralds – Rolex takes particular care to ensure that all the stones to be set on a given watch are of the same hue. This requirement is met through a careful colour-sorting process carried out by hand, stone by stone, in the Rolex workshops.

Oyster Perpetual Lady-Datejust 28 (© Rolex/Ulysse Fréchelin)


Once approved by the gemmologists, the precious stones are entrusted to the gem-setters, masters of their art and in skilled in the various techniques of their profession – bead setting and channel setting. Besides the intrinsic quality of the stones themselves, several other criteria contribute to the reputation of Rolex gem-setting: the precise alignment of the gems, their robustness, their orientation, and the finishing of the beads.


Depending on the version, the Lady-Datejust is available on a three-piece link Oyster bracelet with a folding Oysterclasp, on a five-piece link Jubilee bracelet (created in 1945 especially for the Datejust) with a Crownclasp, or on a three-piece link President bracelet with a Crownclasp. A concealed attachment system ensures seamless visual continuity between the bracelet and case. The Lady-Datejust’s Oyster bracelet also features the Easylink comfort extension link, developed by the brand, which allows the wearer to easily increase the bracelet length by approximately 5mm, for additional comfort in any circumstance. The President bracelet, fitted on some 18-carat gold versions, includes ceramic inserts inside the links to enhance its flexibility and longevity.

The Superlative Chronometer certification is symbolized by a green seal (© Rolex/Joël von Allmen)


Like all Rolex watches, the Lady-Datejust is covered by the Superlative Chronometer certification redefined by Rolex in 2015. This exclusive designation testifies that every watch leaving the brand’s workshops has successfully undergone a series of tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories and according to its own criteria. These certification tests apply to the fully assembled watch, after casing the movement, guaranteeing superlative performance on the wrist in terms of precision, power reserve, waterproofness and self-winding. The Superlative Chronometer status is symbolized by the green seal that comes with every Rolex watch and is coupled with an international five-year guarantee.

The precision of every movement – officially certified as a chronometer by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) – is tested a second time by Rolex after being cased, to ensure that it meets criteria that are far stricter than those of the official certification. The precision of a Rolex Superlative Chronometer is of the order of −2/+2 seconds per day – the rate deviation tolerated by the brand for a finished watch is significantly smaller than that accepted by COSC for official certification of the movement alone.

The Superlative Chronometer certification testing is carried out after casing using state-of-the-art equipment specially developed by Rolex and according to an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn and more closely represents real-life experience. The entirely automated series of tests also checks the waterproofness, the self-winding capacity and the power reserve of 100 percent of Rolex watches. These tests systematically complement the qualification testing during development and production, in order to ensure the watches’ reliability, robustness, and resistance to magnetic fields and shocks.


The timeless and elegant Lady-Datejust carries all the iconic attributes of the original Datejust in its sophisticated 28mm case; a timepiece created with a wide variety of versions available to complement every modern woman’s personality – to wear every day, whatever the occasion.

With all the features of the iconic Datejust, this compact timepiece promotes evolution in design, rather than a revolution. The Lady-Datejust 28 is emblematic of Rolex’s mechanical strength and purposeful functionality. Above all, it is a ladies watch that expresses quintessential taste, style, and horological excellence.


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